Monday, December 5, 2011

Social Skills App

Stories2Learn iPad AppStories2LearnCompany: MDRCategory: Social SkillsPrice: $13.99Link: Stories2Learn offers parents and educators the ability to create personalized stories using photos, text, and audio messages. These stories can be used to promote an individual’s literacy, leisure, as well as social skills. With Stories2Learn an educator can quickly create a story that shows various social cues. For example, if an individual is learning a new concept such as turn taking, making improved eye contact, sharing, or other social messages, these concepts can be quickly depicted in a story created by parent or educator within minutes! The creator is able to add their own audio and write dialogue that corresponds to the photos.

Seven Special Needs Apps in the Google Android Market

by Tzvi on Wed, March 9th, 2011
This Post is part six of the Special Needs iPad & App Series.
Almost from the day the iPad was launched there was an immediate buzz about the special needs apps that were available in the iPad app store. Apple quickly realized that the iPad was perfectly suited to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs and created a special education section of the app store. Websites and blogs sprung up dedicated to reviewing apps for Assistive Communication, Social Skills, Life Skills, Scheduling and more.
With all the hype surrounding the iPhone & iPad I started to wonder: what if you are a Google geek and prefer the Android platform? Or what if you work for Google (which would mean iPhone & iPad use is prohibited) and you have a child with special needs? Are there any quality special needs apps for Android Phones or Tablets?
After digging around online, here are seven Special Needs Android Apps in the Android Market
Voice4u, is a revolutionary picture based AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) application that helps individuals express their feeling, thought, actions and things they need. It is a perfect solution for learning and communication for individuals with autism. Voice4u includes over 150 Pre-loaded icons and lets you create your own icons and categories.
Price: Subscription based- $99.95 per child per year
TapToTalk turns an Android device into an affordable AAC device. TapToTalk displays a set of pictures on the screen. When you tap a picture, TapToTalk plays a word or sentence and displays another screen of pictures. Each of those pictures can lead to another screen, and so on. For example, a picture representing Food can lead to a screen with pictures of Fruit, Vegetables, Sandwiches, Snacks and other foods.

JABtalk is an android application that provides a fresh new approach to speech and communication technology. Speech therapists commonly refer to JABtalk as an easy to use and effective AAC device. By combining personalized voice and images with an extremely simple user interface, JABtalk delivers a speech solution that is both fun to use and easy to learn.
Model Me Going PlacesModel Me Going Places
Model Me Going Places™ is a great visual teaching tool for helping your child learn to navigate challenging locations in the community. Each location contains a photo slide show of children modeling appropriate behavior. Locations include: Hairdresser, Mall, Doctor, Playground, Grocery Store, Restaurant

Behavior Tracker ProBehavior Tracker Pro
Link: Tracker Pro dramatically increased the efficiency of an Autism treatment program. BTP is a behavioral data collection app that allows behavioral therapists, teachers or parents to track and graph behaviors. BTP improves your child’s ABA therapy by capturing behavioral data and translating into an easy to understand graphical format.
AAC Speech BuddyAAC Speech Buddy
Price: $27.99
AAC Speech Buddy create custom PECS Speech Sets. AAC Speech Buddy was created to quickly & easily create custom Speech Sets Online ( which could be loaded on one or many AAC Speech Buddy Apps. AACSpeechBuddy allows users to quickly and easily create customized Speech Sets using their own photos or collected images, or using images from the image repository.
Price: $4.99
Created by Apps4Android, an Android software development company dedicated to developing Android applications that enhance the quality-of-life, independence and educational success of individuals with disabilities. iAugComm turns your Android into a powerful, high-quality, low-cost AAC device, which can enable individuals who are non-verbal or whose speech is difficult to understand to communicate easily and effectively using a simple, icon-based interface.

The Bottom Line

If you are in the market for a tablet or smart phone and you plan on using special needs apps, then you definitely should stick to the iPad and iPhone. The Apple App store has a much bigger selection of special education apps to choose from and the Android Market doesn’t have any of the bestselling apps such as Proloquo2Go or iPrompts. Google is just now releasing optimized operating systems for tablet devices. It will be at least a year before the Android Market will be able to compete with the iPad App store.

Six Steps to get the iPad into your Child’s Special Education Classroom

by Tzvi on Thu, March 31st, 2011
This post is part Eight of the Special Needs iPad & App Series.
Almost from the day the iPad was launched there was an immediate buzz about the special needs apps that were available in the iPad app store. Apple quickly realized that the iPad was perfectly suited to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs and created a special education section of the app store. Websites and blogs sprung up dedicated to reviewing apps for Assistive Communication, Social Skills, Life Skills, Scheduling and more.
The word is out that the iPad is an effective device to help your child communicate. Apparently most school districts haven’t heard the news yet. You may have an iPad at home to help your child communicate, but what happens when he goes to school? Is your child stuck with an unwieldy device that is hard to use? Do you want your school to provide an iPad for your child but don’t know where to start and who to speak to?
In this post we give you 6 steps to convince your school to provide an iPad for your child (make sure to watch t he videos below.

1.Make sure your child qualifies

There is no point in making a stink if your child won’t qualify for an AAC Communication Device. If your child does not qualify for an AAC Device there is no way a school will provide an iPad.
The iPad is much more than an assistive communication device and is a great tool for children that are verbal as well (For example Life Skills & Social skills apps for kids with Asperger’s etc). Unfortunately most school districts will only contemplate an iPad for communication purposes and nothing more.

2. Make sure your child can use the iPad

The iPad may not be suitable for Children who have difficulty with fine motor skills. You must make sure your child can hold his or her hand steady long enough to tap and scroll the screen. On a cognitive level your child also must be able to differentiate between different pictures.

3. Know why your school doesn’t like iPads

Before you make the case for an iPad find out why your school isn’t into it. Knowing why your school won’t provide one will help you prepare your case for getting one. Some of the more common reasons are:

  • The iPad includes Non- Educational Elements
    Schools want to make sure that they are providing materials that will be used to its fullest potential. Knowing that the iPad could be used for movies and games makes them cringe.
  • Stimming
    A claim is made that kids start stimming while using the iPad. Instead of going from one step to the next the child will start repetitively tapping the same picture or sound.
  • Change
    It takes bureaucracies a long time to make changes and schools can be no different. Instead of being innovative and forward thinking you may have a school that wants to keep the status quo and not make changes to what is already in place

4. Explain why you need an iPad over other AAC Devices

Prepare a list of pros for iPad and cons for the regular communication devices Some ideas to inlcude:
Why the standard AAC Device does not work for my childA. It is hard to program
B. It is bulky and heavy
C. Makes my child stick out and look different
D. A battery charge only lasts a few hours
Why an iPad will work for my childA. The iPad provides the most sophisticated and up to date communication applications
B. Very intuitive display and layout, making it easy for a child with special needs to use (and makes it easier for their parents to program)
C. Extremely light and easy to transport
D. Battery last 10 hours

5. Speak Out

A. Start with your child’s teacher. Explain to the teacher why you feel your child needs an iPad. Make sure you are not confrontational. Advocate for your child in a calm and respectful manner.
B. If your teacher is unwilling or unable to help take it to the next level ask to speak to the person who coordinates augmentative communication in your district. If that doesn’t help go up the ladder to the Superintendent of Special Education.
C. If you are still finding the going tough ask other parents in similar situations (parents with a child who goes to the same school and needs an AAC device to help communicate) to work together to change the schools mind. The voice of one may be ignored but an outcry from many parents will not be drowned out.
D. Bring in outside advocates who will stand by your side and will help request, cajole and maybe even threaten legal proceedings. A professional advocate knows how to talk the school’s language and can cut through the red tape.

6. Be Informed- Resources to back up your claims

To further prove your point show them that schools all over the country are starting to implement iPads in special education classrooms. Here are some links to articles and videos about schools all around the country using iPads in the Classroom.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

From our Friends at Smart Apps for Kids

Four FREE Numbertown apps from Digital Storytime!

Screen Shot 2011-12-03 at 11.53.55 AMCarisa from Digital Storytime sent me a note that all four Numbertown series apps are now free! Get them quick because we're not sure how long they're free...
She recommends all four titles and you can get more info and download links from her review pages: Great Snail Race
The Harvest Festival
123 Shape Up Number Town, Learn to Count
A Very Busy Week

Facebook page:!/smartappsforkids

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Smart Apps for Kids THANK YOU Free Christmas App


Friday, December 2, 2011

iPad Apps for Autism

      iPad Apps for Autism
  • Model Me Going Places 2 – Social Stories – Free 
  • Is That Gluten Free? – Nutrition – $7.99
  • Sentence Builder for iPad – Language – $3.99
  • TapToTalk – Language – Free
  • Story Builder – Language – $3.99
  • Understanding Autism – Educational – $2.99
  • Proloquo2Go – Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) – $189.99
  • Question Builder for iPad – Language – $3.99
  • AutoVerbal Talking Soundbox – Language – $9.99
  • iCommunicate for iPad – Language – $29.99
  • MyTalk Tools Mobile – AAC – $39.99
  • iDress for Weather – Life Skills – $1.99
  • MyTalkTools Mobile Lite – AAC – Free
  • TapSpeak Button for Ipad – Language – $9.99
  • Grace – Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People – Language – $37.99
  • Alexicom AAC – AAC – Free
  • AACSpeechBuddy – AAC – $44.99
  • Visual Impact – Living Safely – Life Skills – $34.99
  • Off We Go – Going to the Dentist – Social Stories – $4.99
  • Off We Go – Going on a Plane – Social Stories – $4.99

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Free Communication Apps

A text--‐to--‐speech program with frequently used words/phrases and word prediction to make composing messages faster than typing.  There are three keyboard layouts and the choice of a male or female voice.

Sono Flex Lite
A full--‐featured communication app with core and topic vocabularies. Add photos or use SymbolStix icons.  Choose boy/girl or man/woman voices.  Create message in message window and tap to speak entire sentence.